Areas for Future Development in Epilepsy Research: Imad Najm, MD


The director of Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center at the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute discussed the need for specificity and artificial intelligence for patients with epilepsy. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“We need the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence to use the trillions of data points that we have, including but not limited to, clinical data.”

Following his presentations at the 2021 American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting, December 3-7, in Chicago, Illinois and virtually, Imad Najm, MD, director, Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center, Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute, spoke with NeurologyLive® on the state of epilepsy research. Describing the field as “mature,” Najm commented on areas that still need to be addressed to advance the best interests of this patient population. He called attention to the need for more study into the etiology of epilepsy, identifying a “cause per patient,” rather than relying on a universal cause for all patients, which experts are already aware often will not be the case. 

Additionally, Najm discussed artificial intelligence and the need to incorporate machine learning to develop algorithms for patient management. He stressed the need to develop an algorithm that can be applied on a patient-by-patient level, including information on genetic changes, epigenetic changes, protein changes, and inflammatory changes. Rather than prescribing medications for focal epilepsy or generalized epilepsy, Najm called for more specificity, noting that a lack of specifics prevents experts from identifying a cure or more control for seizures in this patient population.

For more coverage of AES 2021, click here.

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